About Faith

Jailhouse Blues cover 


"JAILHOUSE BLUES" 2014 These lyrics are a the result of workshop(s) with women prisoners over a seven year period at 2 supermax jails in Ontario .“As you know, a disproportionate number of Native and Black are confined in jail, due to systemic racism. The number of women starting federal prison sentences in Canada has grown by more than 50 per cent in the past decade. Most of these sisters are poor women, which is systemic classism. Most are mothers with children. Prisons have revolving doors, and we are seeing a generational recreating of the  same punishment to sisters who have been born into punishment.Aboriginal women represent the fastest-growing offender population. Between 1998 and 2008, federally  incarcerated Aboriginal women increased by 131%.  Aboriginal women make up approximately one-third of all provincially incarcerated female prisoners and 20% of the female population in the federal corrections system. In some prisons, Aboriginal women constitute an overwhelming 45–99% of the female populationIt is time to heal our sisters, to heal with our sisters.  As Angela Davis said, 'When our most vulnerable rise, so then do we all.'"This will be Faith Nolan’s 16th studio album. There will also be upcoming launches in Vancouver B.C. and New York, N.Y.“A great  20 '30' mid-40's  style original bluestellin it like it is ,  The only chain a womon can stand is the chain of hand and hand . Orin Isaacs - musician extrodinaire- Production.”Speaking of one of the songs off her new album called Detention Order Blues, “This song is about waiting for trial and getting longer sentences. Supermax jails [is where] many women prisoners are held while awaiting trial, It used to be a few years back that time served [that while awaiting trial], one day awaiting trial would be equal sometimes [to]  three days off any sentence given. The change means that now one day awaiting trial is now equal to        only one days of any sentence given. This means longer incarceration for women prisoners.”

Interview of Faith Nolan by Krystaline Klaus-rabble 2014

"All music is folk music. You never saw a horse play music. "

CONTACT  nolanfaith@yahoo.com  or Faith Nolan  on facebook

Click here to find out the latest information in FaithNET.

Mannish Gal
2008 Release

queering the blues
One World
2008 Release

Faith Nolan with the Elementary Teachers of Toronto & Friends
Day Done Broke
2006 Release

Faith Nolan with Singing Elementary Teacher of Toronto


Faith Nolan Live
with Mary Watkins

Let It Shine
2002 Release
Within These Cages
produced  by Faith Nolan-live music in the  SanFranCisco COUNTY Jail 
with  women prisoners
2002 - 7 minute colour video
On The Line( picketline  songs)
2000 Release

"Day Done Broke" is recorded in 2006 is a collection of multicultural folk songs. Arranged by Faith for children to sing along to in Swahili, Objibwa, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Jewish folk song as well as an original Black history song about Marie Joseph Angelique.

“Faith Nolan Live“ is a her first live release. She recorded a live concert at La Pena, Berkley CA ( home of the Buena Vista Social Club) in 2003. Original Blues, and jazz songs as well as standards it is delightfully unique and a refreshing real recording in a sea of plastic. Accompanied by her all time favorite, reknowned Jazz pianist and composer Mary Watkins on piano it is her dream recording come true.

Other Cd’s include Faith’s CD entitled “Faith Nolan Compilation 1986-1996” combines her favorite original compositions recorded in the last ten years. 1996 she released “Hard to Imagine”, songs about the continual labour of love and struggle. 1989 she recorded “Freedom to Love”, original compositions about Native, anti-racism, ending homphobia as well as songs by Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith. In 1987 she put out “Sistership” a tribute and commemoration to women's continuing struggles for equality. “Africville”, 1986 the first album and songbook about Black History in Canada from slavery to the displacement of Black people in Africville, Nova Scotia in 1969.

Faith Nolan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and her parents and extended family were coal miners in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia of African, Miqmaq and Irish heritage. She later grew up in Toronto's working-class Cabbagetown. Her commitment to social justice comes from her life experiences and the people she grew up with, and she works through the cultural tool of music. Her music is her political work, a politics firmly rooted in her being working class, a woman, African Canadian and queer. Faith is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She has performed at Concerts, Music Festivals, Conferences, Universities, Rallies, and Women¹s Events etc... Using music to bring about social change for a fairer and better world.

Email: faith@nexicom.net
Website: www. faithnolan.org


Discography- original music CD's by Faith Nolan

  • Jailhouse Blues  -songs/stories  from + about women  prisoners © "faithnfaith"  2014
  • HANG ON CUPE (CUPE Freedom PRODUCED/arranged FOR CUPE Ontario) © faithnfaith"2009
  • Mannish Gal (queering the blues) ©" faithnfaith 2008
  • One World Faith Nolan with the Elementary Teachers of Toronto & Friends© faithnfaith 2008
  • Day Done Broke ©FaithnFaith 2006
  • Faith Nolan Live MWIC ©faithnfaith2003
  • LET IT SHINE © FaithnFaith 2002
  • Overloaded Fed Up and On THE LINE CUPE©faithnfaith 2002
  • Faith Nolan Compilation 1986-1996 ©faithnfaith 1997
  • Hard to Imagine ©faithnfaith1996
  • Freedom to Love © FaithnFaith1989
  • Sistership ©faithnfaith 1987
  • Africville  © FaithnFaith 1986
  • Multicultural Songs for Children © FaithnFaith 1984
  • Rainbow Wommin ©FaithnFaith 1983


  • Missing Murdered Women "High way of tears" producer 2011
  • Till Death do us part- " women with AIDS in jail" by Vita Lusty music Faith Nolan 2008
  • Within These Cages Producer, Writer, Director, (Using song to heal and raise awareness among women in prison, within the context of the globalization of the prison industrial complex) FaithnFaith 2003
  • Listening for Something Composer, arranger, lead musician, NFB National Film board of Canada, Dionne Brand 2000
  • "Critical Resistance " Prison Industrial Complex with Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, music 1996
  • Stand Together Nancy Nicol “Inside Out festival (music by Faith Nolan) 2003
  • Long Time Comin, featuring the life and music of Faith Nolan Composer, arranger, lead musician NFB National Film board of Canada, writer Dionne Brand 1993
  • Sisters in the Struggle Composer, arranger, lead musician, NFB National Film board of Canada,writer Dionne Brand 1992
  • Older, Stronger, Wiser Composer, arranger, lead musician, NFB National Film board of Canada,writer Dionne Brand 1989


  • I am A Prisoner Producer, writer, director, musician 2004
    radio /doc. on Nigerian jails with music by Feme Kuti and Faith Nolan and the women and men prisoners of Enugu, KiriKiri maximum and minimum security jails. WBAI (CA. NY)
  • Queer Black women Blues CKLN 1991
  • CBC Toronto interview 2007
  • CBC Vancouver interview 2008


  • Mayworks- Social Justice Music  activist AWARD 2014
  • EGALE Black History Month Recipient 2011
  • Afro Nova Scotian Cultural Music Award (Toronto pride parade) 2009
  • Recipient Honored Dyke 2001
  • Recipient, Ontario Federation Labour Cultural Activist Award 2008
  • Recipient, Robert Sutherland Award for Activist and Musical Contributions to African Canadians Queens University 2005
  • Maple Blues Nominee 1999
  • Canada Council Awards Grant 2008 / 2002 / 1996
  • OAC Award Grant 2008 / 2004 / 2000
  • Toronto Arts Council Award Grant 2006 / 2000

Faith Nolan is an artist who is also a community builder, she is presently the director/founder  of Vanier  Music therapy Program. She was  founder of the Women's music therapy program at  CECC and CNCCfrom 2008 til2014 In  2006 thru 2009 she  founded   directed  and recoreded 2 CD's  with  the Elemenatry Teachers of Toronto   She has founded three other Toronto based choirs, Sistering Singers, Mandela Children¹s Choir, Voices of Freedom. In the late eighties she founded and directed Kingston Women Prisoners Choir. In 2004 Faith was on the Board of Mayworks, Toronto. She created Joint Effort in 1991. She was a founding member of the Black women¹s Collective 1984 and Our Lives Newspaper 1986, Sisters Café 1991, MWIC in 1983-present, WRPM record distribution in 1995, Camp SIS 1995- present. She was on the Board with Charlie King, Pete Seeger in 1987 of the PMN. She is a composer and guitarist whose style varies from blues and folk, to jazz, with a taste of funk and reggae, is a seasoned performer who has built a strong and faithful audience.

Faith's original compositions, as well as her covers of better known songs, are strongly rooted in the cultural language of Black North American music: spirituals, gospel, jazz and blues. An accomplished musician who plays slide guitar, tambourine, harmonica, and banjo in the earliest blues tradition, Faith also possesses a silky voice that wraps itself around a song. Her lyrics voice a concern for the world of the common people. Music may well be in her blood as her mother was a drummer, her late father was a musician and her sister played in a band. An Afro-Nova Scotian Miq Maq, Irish activist whose songs deal with a range of issue including Afro Canadian History and native heritage, feminism, workers' issue and children's rights, Faith is one of those rare artists who can grab a song and make the message ring out true and clear. Enhancing her musical is the creative allowances that come from being self-taught.

Faith Nolan's songs come from a deep commitment to the struggles or people throughout the world. According to Faith, "Music is a powerful tool that can be used for political and cultural expression." It is in a global context that Nolan used this tool to connect the conditions and exploitation of oppressed peoples, in songs such as "The Richest In The World". Hard to Imagine lyrically tells the story of poverty, racism, violence against women, and the need to struggle for better world to live in.

Faith has toured and performed across Canada, Caribbean, England, Netherlands, Japan, United States and Nigeria. She has organized as well as played  countless benefits and remains active in a range of social issues.

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